Sunday, April 25, 2010

MicroKorg Customface

MicroKorg Customface

This is a custom overlay I created to stick over the face of my MicroKorg.

I found it really hard to use the MicroKorg, because it's so difficult to read the lines of controls under each knob, in relation to where you had each Edit Select knob positioned. It did my head in! Korg should have at least drawn lines for each row to help the ol' eye-balls.  Or even better, color coded the different rows in some way.

So... I created my own OVERLAY in Photoshop and stuck it over the front! It's only for the Synth mode, and doesn't cover the Vocoder, but that's fine for me. Most of the controls are shared between the two anyway. If I ever want to tweak a vocoder setting one day, I'll have to figure out a solution, but let's face it, most people must be using the synth 95% of the time, and mostly using vocoder presets anyway. (That's how I'm justifying it to myself, anyway...)

On my overlay, I've also added some basic notes about settings that aren't clear from the readout, such as listing the wave types available for that function. This makes the information a bit more accessible without having to get the manual.

Personally, I think my overlay makes things much easier and more intuitive, and therefore more fun and playful! 

I'd like to know if anyone else struggles with the MicroKorg interface, and if this helps them. I've color coded mine (with pencil, after printing it out!) so you can see which knob settings correlate to which row of functions. That was the main goal for me!

In the process of making it I also read the manual more thoroughly, which helped bring everything into focus! Hooray.

Download the fullsize MicroKorg Customface overlay and print it out for yourself!

Here's a little preview version of it...

You'll have to figure out how to print it the right size. It should fit perfectly if you get it right!  Print it in landscape on A4 and see how you go.

You'll have to color it in yourself, too! I was going to color it in Photoshop, but I only have a black and white printer at home, so I just colored it myself with pencils. I used the same color family for related sections (all LFOs are blue, OSCs are warm colors, ARPEGs are purpley colors), and left a few sections white to keep it from getting muddy with colors (the Patch section, GLOBAL, MIDI, and Voice).

To stick the overlays over the dials, just cut each one out separately, then cut straight up from the bottom-middle with scissors, then cut away the grey circle. Voila! Now just slide it down behind the knobs and sticky tape it all into place.

Let me know if you put one on yours!  I'd love to see your coloring job.  :)


  1. I'm planning on doing a video on how to control the parametres of your MicroKontrol with a Behringer BCR2000 soon. This means that you can easily tweak 32 parametres at once, instead of just 5!

  2. You can find my post about setting up your BCR2000 to control the many parameters of your MicroKorg here!

  3. This overlay is a great idea! I haven't received my Microkorg yet, but it is on its way. This should help immensely.

    Thanks so much!

  4. Cheers Anonymous, yeah, I found their interface really hard to use. It's hard for the eye to "grab onto" the different rows and columns, and match them to the knobs.

    The CustomFace makes that much easier and more intuitive! :)

    All the best! And have fun MicroKorging!

  5. Hello Murray,

    I have been using your patch for the BCR and Microkorg for some time. It's really good, thanks a lot!
    I have two small questions:

    -What is the CC#90 (Midi sync control) ? I can't understand ...
    -Would it be possible to invert the lighting of the leds of the BCR for the buttons mapped on the distortion, osc1 Level and osc2 Level ? It would be more logical and easier to use, no ?

    Thanks again and enjoy.

    Translated with (free version)

    1. I haven't really thought about this stuff for a long time, as I don't use my MicroKorg and BCR2000 very much.

      But funnily enough, I was just playing with it last night, just before I saw this post.

      I still get really frustrated that the BCR2000 knob status does NOT update when you change patches on the Microkorg, making it much less intuitive and user friendly. I wish I had a solution for that!

      Regarding your specific comments, I can't really remember what CC#90 is!

      Regarding the LED status for Distortion, etc, doesn't it currently turn the LED ON when you turn Distortion ON?

      I would assume that's how it should be.

      Sorry if none of my answers here are very useful! I haven't really thought about this stuff in a while.

      I wouldn't mind going back over it all one day, and maybe doing another whole new pass on the layout of the BCR2000, to make it all "cooler". But, I have no idea whether I'll ever actually do that. :D

      Have fun!!

  6. Wonderful! This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much!

    1. Beautiful! Glad to be of service. I definitely found the interface not particularly conducive to intuitive usage! Now I find it much easier, especially after coloring in the printout, to easily see which dial setting lines up to which row of controls. :)


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